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We only have the rights we defend, as long as we are able.
Feb. 3, 2002 (revised) | First_Salute

Posted on 02/03/2002 4:49:13 PM PST by First_Salute

We are only as free as we make the effort to know why.

The American Revolution did not really start in April of 1775. It started much earlier, building upon the experience of preceding generations whose unhappiness with poor, and bad, government, caused the people to think about alternatives in the construction of government, which would limit government's excesses.

In the decades before fighting broke out in 1775, people conversed and read up on their heritage, the events of the day, and the law. Documents and various publications spread throughout the Colonies on the topics of the rights of man, justice, and the rule of law.

While the English Common Law had followed the people across the Atlantic Ocean, its institution waxed and waned, and then waned some more with time, because of the distance separating the American colonialists from the immediate force of the crown's, and others', political interests, especially the further into the new frontier the "justice systems" extended with the settlers. The people became more directly involved with the courts and court procedures, and other legal affairs affecting their lives and livelihoods, in contrast to their kinsman back in the United Kingdom.

This is all about a process of construction and having, producing, and distributing the means by which the concepts are available as the building blocks for the foundations of Liberty.

Now, some people believe that a Bush Presidency will relieve a number of our problems in this contest against the socialism which we are observing the Democrat Party impose upon our nation. Other people believe that a Bush Presidency will have only bought us a little time.

Still, others believe that a Gore Presidency would have mired us down ... but we somewhat thought we knew the timeframe for that, based upon the "data" we have from Clinton's "Presidency."

Instead, now, the fight has begun, and we are locked in it ... if we mean to win.

At all times, even in revolution, the construction of our forefathers' efforts was to ensure lawful process and exercise authority under the rule of law. For example, contrary to the hysteria perpetrated in the "liberal press," about the militia, the colonial militia were at all times answerable to civilian authority, in a chain of command reaching down from the Continental Congress and down from the Provincial Congresses of the colonies, often times through what were called Committees of Safety.

There is much in our American Heritage, in which we must seek to know and understand the construction of our country and Constitution, so that where we are going, we will ensure that we do so by a lawful process, and always keep upon the path toward our principle objectives: to restore our Constitution and rule of law over government ... instead of embarking upon a sea of rage because of our current unhappiness.

It will take all of our self-discipline, to not wander from the path. The secret of George Washington's success, according to him, when asked by a correspondent, after the President's retirement from public office, was this: "...the straight line."

Sir Winston Churchill, upon the occasion of a visit to an American university after World War II, and feeling the infirmities of his age, was asked to give a speech; but he had to wait out a lengthy introduction.

At the end of this praise, Churchill stood up and approached the podium; and then said, no more than, "Never, never, never, never quit."

You must not let go of our democratic-republic. You must not be "rattled."

Think: The Founding Fathers and Framers set up a structure for a government in waiting, the Continental Congress. During that decade prior to Lexington and Concord, the colonialists absorbed the principles of law, some of which were discussed in the "letters of correspondence." There is much that the people knew --- enough people --- which is what will be needed if we are to win. (See Edmund Burke's comments, below.)

We let the press know; we let our Congressmen know; and we let our State Legislators know ... that with some time and study, we too will know the law better.

And we close in the boundarys of the rule of law upon their indiscretions with the lawful democratic-republican process.

As hard as it may be, now, to study law, it is nothing like the cost of losing one's temper.

We do the best we can, first, with the Pen.

That is our duty and our trust.

No system of government, will preserve for us, what is our own responsibility to defend. And for all the fury which might release upon catastrophic failures by our government officials to uphold the lawful laws, no recovery is possible without the people being well-informed of what is our responsibility and trust ... and duty to restore.

Judges can "get away with" what the people do not know about the law.

An appellate judge holds a great responsibility to interpret statutes and the Constitution(s), but judges are not delegated the power to decide what will be the rule of law. Futhermore, judges are only delegated the authority to interpret "the law" upon points of contention, where "the law" is not, or seems not, clear enough to plainly decide a case between A and B, so to speak. Judges do not actually say what "the law" is; that is the responsibility of the people, through their legislative assemblies, as the Congress and the States' Legislatures.

But, when judges "step out of bounds" and "legislate from the bench," they author what we call "judge-made law." And they begin to say what "the law" is, though we are not obliged to abide by such un-authorized creativity. Why?

For example, if judges say what election law is, they can say what any law is, and all legislatures be moot. Under the liberals' perversion of the bench, also known as "judicial activism," we will see judges make:

Criminal law
Property law
Tax law
. . .
All law; and they can appoint themselves to the bench.

We will hear the liberals say, "Oh no, that won't happen."

Really? What boundary of public agreement have the liberals seen which they could not resist to test and tear? Indeed they now test and take exception aginst the rule of law itself; and they prefer that only their judges and their judgement shall be the order of the day ... and I meant that literally.

The rule of law, is not what some people think incorrectly: that it is the government exerting its rule by laws --- that function of government is only one portion from within the meaning of the rule of law.

Correctly, and in contrast to that general misperception by too many people, the rule of law is what "is alive in the hearts of the people," to quote Freeper SauronOfMordor.

The rule of law is a belief system, a philosophy, a construction of man under an even higher order of the rule of law, which higher order for some people is God's, and for other people, it is some "force." Of which, our recognition helps to keep us humble. Yet which, we have also called upon to assert our right to self-governance over the tyrannical government designs of the past.

The history of such failures --- the sorry works of despots and despotic committees --- was analyzed by our Founding Fathers, who thereupon considered and aligned how lawful authority exists (at out founding) in this country.

the people

the States' Legislatures

the Constitution

the Congress

the remaining branches of government

This is the line of authority in a democratic-republic. It is along this line, by which we both employ, and observe, the lawful process.

But unfortunately, this is not taught well, if at all, in our schools. The teaching to children, about the "three branches of government," leaves most with a false impression that the branches are equal in power, in strength, and in authority ... because mathematically the branches, as branches, are each a third of one. When truly, they are only "equal" by such numbering.

Indeed, the three branches are parts of only one general power: government ... and therein, the three branches are sub-and-different-powers; the Congress in particular, trumping the other two in authority and strength --- when we respect the lawful process.

We the people, bear entirely the responsibility to force adherence to the line of authority. But we are charged with doing so, lawfully, not by any decree issued by the Founding Fathers and Framers, but by the duty entrusted to us to exercise our right to, and by our ancestors' trust and the hopes and dreams of all who have sacrificed for our Liberty ... trusting that we will follow the line of authority and thereby employ the lawful process under the rule of law.

The rule of law is what we assert, to bear down upon any government official, function, you-name-it ... to compel them to adhere to: the rule of law and the line of authority, the lawful process, the Constitution(s), the statutory realm, and the statutes therein.

The rule of law is our agreement to enter agreements which are binding. It is our enforcing and respecting due process and equal protection before the lawfully made statutory "realm," if you will permit the "figure of speech."

We discuss here, the fundamentals of law --- not, the details of the intricate construction of statutes. Rather, this matter is simple, for we address what is highest in authority in our lives. And thus, we use a limited terminology in explanations (or at least, I try). For example, books are a plenty, in discussion of religion, but who is God? How many ways might you attempt to describe Who is God? Well ... for many of us, God is God. Truth is.

And very similarly, the rule of law is just that simple: where things come together and from whence our authority stems.

We must attend to the public's greater continuing education in the law, as well as the formal systems. As Edmund Burke said, in his March 22, 1775 "Speech on Conciliation With America" ---

Permit me, Sir, to add another circumstance in our colonies, which contributes no mean part towards the growth and effect of this untractable spirit. I mean their education. In no country perhaps in the world is the law so general a study...

This study renders men acute, inquisitive, dexterous, prompt in attack, ready in defence, full of resources. In other countries, the people, more simple and of a less mercurial cast, judge of an ill principle in government only by an actual grievance; here they anticipate the evil, and judge of the pressure of the grievance by the badness of the principle. They augur misgovernment at a distance; and snuff the approach of tyranny in every tainted breeze

[See Rick Gardiner's "The American Colonialists' Library: A Treasury of Primary Documents."]

To win in the court of public opinion, we must be in court.

To accomplish more widespread knowledge, it is obvious that we must get the word out ---

Please look around for at least one, worthy "conservative print media" publication., and then offer a gift subscription to your local library --- so there is at least some balance against the ubiquitous Washington Post, and other, so-called "mainstream" publications of the "liberal media." This Free Republic forum is a national, natural distribution-resource channel. And we may as well use its advantages while we have them.

As SuziQ has said, "I might also suggest that you offer a subscription to a local high school. Get those 'young skulls full of mush' started seeing this info and make it difficult for them to be indoctrinated by either the high school or the college they eventually attend."

Many people don't even know that any kind of fact-filled "conservative print media" exist. When in the Washington, D.C. area, and you run across a copy of The Washington Times, or The American Enterprise, or Insight on the News Magazine, or Human Events ... please grab copies and place them alongside the stacks of the New York Times or Washington Post --- somewhere else around our country, far away from the 'DC Beltway'.

Call The Washington Times and ask that they deliver stacks of newspapers to truck stops around the 'DC Beltway,' where they may find (Freepers can help at this) various truck drivers who would be interested in taking a stack with them ... and then dropping that stack off at another truck stop, again, away from the 'DC Beltway" ... in order that other people across the nation, get an opportunity to see the facts ignored by the W'Post, etc.

Airports are a great place; also at truck stops, at newsstands, at cafes, and at bookstores. And please note, that I'm not asking for your money. Instead, I am asking that you help get "conservative print media" to a level of customary reading in our American culture. I'm suggesting a way to fund Liberty, instead of funding timid politicians.

The formula is that we be educated in our Liberties and Foundations thereof --- which was the reason, by the way, for the Founding Fathers' and Framers' great interest in "public education." That we should know how and why we are free.

First_Salute

Phone numbers at The Washington Times:

Main: 202-636-3000
Circulation: 202-636-3360

I recommend the daily edition over their national weekly.


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Miscellaneous
KEYWORDS:

1 posted on 02/03/2002 4:49:14 PM PST by First_Salute
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To: First_Salute
Frankly, I've been surprised since getting online in '95 just how many people are interested in learning about the rule of law. There seems to be many more people than one would think by seeing what is allowed to pass as "news" reporting and political punditry.

Still, those of us interested are in the minority and the level of misinformation about our laws and government among otherwise educated people is pretty high.

Good column, and good suggestion, FS.

2 posted on 02/03/2002 5:23:05 PM PST by Twodees
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To: First_Salute
Excellent.

Education is the answer.
Knowledge is Power.

3 posted on 02/03/2002 9:00:26 PM PST by Drammach
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To: Lumberjack
Bump.
4 posted on 02/04/2002 7:40:59 AM PST by First_Salute
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To: First_Salute
Fine suggestions, to which I can add only one item:

Don't stop with newspapers/magazines. I've donated countless copies of Atlas Shrugged, The Fountainhead, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, Watership Down, Biographies on Thomas Jefferson (various titles) and Anthem to many, many high school libraries in Central Ohio. They are happily accepted, for the most part.

5 posted on 02/04/2002 8:12:55 AM PST by Lumberjack
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To: absalom01
Bump.
6 posted on 02/04/2002 8:31:18 AM PST by First_Salute
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To: Michael.SF.
Bump.
7 posted on 02/25/2002 10:26:38 AM PST by First_Salute
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To: all
See Liberal William Manchester Turns on ACLU and PC ism, by Carl Limbacher and crew, NewsMax, Feb. 25, 2002 (posted by NormsRevenge)
Responding to the news that the American Civil Liberties Union says hanging the portrait amounts to forced patriotism the old liberal revealed that "I ceased my affiliation with them a few years ago. "It's all about guilt now. Guilt. Victims and guilt."

Asked to explain, Manchester said he didn't know why that's so. "But we're supposed to feel guilt about things that happened or are said to have happened in the faraway past. Do you know what George Washington's real sin is for these people? He was a white, Anglo-Saxon Protestant. Period. He doesn't fit in with today's prescribed correctness. Hang the portrait. Maybe some child will see it and ask a teacher, `Who's that?' And then that child might just get a history lesson."

When asked how important history is he said "A fundamental premise for a functioning democracy is that the citizens will be literate enough, educated enough to see through the bull, know what's good for the democracy and what's dangerous. Washington embodied that premise, championed it.

"If you let education slide in schools and in the home, if your citizens are not aware of their own history, you open the door for self-appointed arbiters of truth," he warned. "And their so-called truths may not be true at all. It's a bad thing. The real question here is: Are our children learning enough history in school? I think not.

"But," he added "it must be good history, real history. Bad enough we don't teach more about World War II in our schools, for 55 years the Japanese have gotten away with teaching a false history of the war in their schools." Manchester, an ex-Marine wounded in action by the Japanese on Guadalcanal in WW II added "To catch the lie you have to be educated."


8 posted on 02/25/2002 7:03:54 PM PST by First_Salute
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To: kiryandil
Bump.
9 posted on 02/27/2002 8:19:50 AM PST by First_Salute
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To: SuziQ
Bump.
10 posted on 02/28/2002 12:57:39 PM PST by First_Salute
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To: First_Salute
How very timely! My kids and I just finished our discussions on their studies of the First and Second Continental Congresses, Battles of Lexington and Concord, Breed's Hill and Bunker Hill, and the writing of the Declaration. We are homeschooling, and the series we're using for Amer. History is "A History of US" and it comes with a wonderful sourcebook which includes writings of the founders and the full texts of the Declaration and the Constitution! And we're going to go on a Field Trip to MinuteMan National Historical Park next month, so all of this will come alive for them!

I believe it was Benjamin Franklin who, when asked "What kind of government are we creating here"?, said "A Republic sirs, if you can keep it!" Well the only way we'll be able to keep it is by continuing to be informed and passing along the info whenever we get the chance!

11 posted on 02/28/2002 7:24:15 PM PST by SuziQ
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To: joanie-f;snopercod;Covenantor;mommadooo3;brityank
Salute.
12 posted on 03/05/2002 7:27:13 AM PST by First_Salute
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To: First_Salute
Returning the salute.
But it is in the administration of justice, or of law, that freedom or subjection of a people is tested. If this administration be in accordance with the arbitrary will of the legislator -- that is, if his will, as it appears in his statutes, be the highest rule of decision known to the judicial tribunals, -- the government is a despotism, and the people are slaves.

If, on the other hand, the rule of decision be those principle of natural equity and justice, which constitute, or at least are embodied in, the general consciense of mankind, the people are free in just so far as that conscience is enlightened.

--Lysander Spooner An Essay on the Trial by Jury, 1852

13 posted on 03/05/2002 1:43:02 PM PST by snopercod
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To: Sandy;First_Salute
To appreciate the significance of [the role of judges in society] it is necessary to free ourselves wholly from the erroneous conception that there can be first a society which then gives itself laws. This erroneous conception is basic to the constructivist rationalism which from Descartes and Hobbes through Rousseau and Bentham down to contemporary logical positivism has blinded students to the true relationship between law and government.

It is only as a result of individuals observing certain common rules that a group of men can live together in those orderly relations which we call a society. It would therefore probably be nearer the truth if we inverted the plausible and widely held idea that law derives from authority and rather thought of all authority as deriving from law - not in the sense that the law appoints authority, but in the sense that authority commands obedience because (and so long as) is enforces a law presumed to exist independently of it and resting on a diffused opinion of what is right.

Not all law can therefore be the product of legislation; but power to legislate presupposed the recognition of some common rules; and such rules which underlie the power to legislate may also limit that power. No group is likely to agree on articulated rules unless its members already hold opinions that coincide in some degree. Such coincidence of opinion will thus have to precede explicit agreement on articulated rules of just conduct, although not agreement on particular ends of action. Persons differing in their general values may occasionally agree on, and effectively collaborate for, the achievement of particular concrete purposes. But such agreement on particular ends will never suffice for forming that lasting order which we call a society.

--F.A. Hayek, Law Legislation and Liberty, Vol I Rules and Order</>, Chapter 5 "Nomos: The Law of Liberty"

14 posted on 03/05/2002 1:49:40 PM PST by snopercod
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To: First_Salute, snopercod
If I might repeat two absolute gems, not unlike something Patrick Henry might have said:

No system of government, will preserve for us, what is our own responsibility to defend. And for all the fury which might release upon catastrophic failures by our government officials to uphold the lawful laws, no recovery is possible without the people being well-informed of what is our responsibility and trust ... and duty to restore.

The rule of law is a belief system, a philosophy, a construction of man under an even higher order of the rule of law, which higher order for some people is God's, and for other people, it is some "force." Of which, our recognition helps to keep us humble....First_Salute

Allow me to add three relevant quotes (no more eloquent, but just as timeless):

1830's educational maxim: A demagogue would like a people half educated; enough to read what he says, but not enough to know whether it is true or not.

Thomas Jefferson: If a nation expects to be ignorant and free in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be.

John Adams: We electors have an important constitutional power placed in our hands: we have a check upon two branches of the legislature . . . It becomes necessary for every citizen, then, to be in some degree a statesman and to examine and judge for himself.

Note that all three, in their own way, refer to the lethal danger of an ignorant, uninformed populace. In order to be Adams' 'statesman,' a degree of awareness, knowledge and resolve is necessary. Jefferson warns that ignorance and freedom are, and always have been, mutually exclusive conditions. And the nearly-two-century-old maxim describes one of the vital strategies of the would-be tyrants: to keep the people educated enough to comprehend their 'line,' but ignorant enough to be unable to see through its deceptions.

No society can long exist without a well-defined system of laws, a clear characterization of justice, and a populace which comprehends the immutable underpinnings of both .... and which has the resolve to ensure that both remain undefiled.

Although written almost eight hundred years ago, two of the simplest rules regarding law and justice ever written by the pen of man are the fortieth and forty-fifth (of the sixty-three) principles of the Magna Carta:

40: To no one will we sell, to no one will we refuse or delay, right or justice.

45: We will not make justices, constables, sheriffs, or bailiffs, save of such as know the law of the kingdom and mean to observe it well.

Twenty-first century legalese/small print/loopholes have nothing on the wisdom of King John at Runnymede. We would do well to return to the simple. Sometime 'progress' tends to dilute....often it tends to obfuscate....and, in the case of twenty-first century American law and justice, it has completely obliterated the concept under which it received definition.

In his Common Sense, Thomas Paine wrote:

There are persons....who see not the full extent of the evil which threatens them; they solace themselves with hopes that the enemy, if he succeed, will be merciful. It is the madness of folly to expect mercy from those who have refused to do justice; and even mercy, where conquest is the object, is a trick of war. The cunning of the fox is as murderous as the violence of the wolf, and we ought to guard equally against both.

Paine's enemy....his fox and wolf....are all one and the same. In his day they were represented by the Crown. In our day they are embodied in those (many, and growing) among our (pseudo representative republic) leaders who bear allegiance to something other than the sovereignty of America and the good, and safety, of her people. But really the enemy, although sometimes sporting a different face, is always the same: tyranny.

Tyranny realized through violence is a tragedy. Tyranny realized through ignorance and apathy is an abomination.

15 posted on 03/05/2002 3:29:02 PM PST by joanie-f
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To: joanie-f
morning bump
16 posted on 03/06/2002 1:45:23 AM PST by snopercod
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To: joanie-f
Magnificent.
17 posted on 03/06/2002 7:17:19 AM PST by downwithsocialism
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To: Common Tator
Bump.
18 posted on 03/30/2002 11:17:32 AM PST by First_Salute
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To: Spiff
May interest you.
19 posted on 05/23/2002 9:10:38 AM PDT by First_Salute
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To: narby
Bump.
20 posted on 06/14/2002 8:21:54 AM PDT by First_Salute
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To: inquest
Bump.
21 posted on 07/01/2002 3:06:17 PM PDT by First_Salute
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To: Forgiven_Sinner
Bump.
22 posted on 08/12/2002 7:40:20 PM PDT by First_Salute
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To: ladyinred
Especially for you.
23 posted on 08/04/2003 10:33:46 PM PDT by First_Salute
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To: joanie-f
and you
24 posted on 08/04/2003 10:36:47 PM PDT by First_Salute
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To: snopercod
Thank you, sir.
25 posted on 08/04/2003 10:38:48 PM PDT by First_Salute
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To: Reagan Renaissance
Please read this thread.
26 posted on 08/05/2003 3:58:13 AM PDT by snopercod
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To: snopercod
"Please read this thread."

Done and I would like to invite any and all of the participants of this thread to join the series that is beginning here:
Please participate.

27 posted on 08/05/2003 7:42:51 AM PDT by Reagan Renaissance
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To: First_Salute
Apologies for missing your earlier ping, Mike.

It hasn't been that long since I re-read this particular piece. I have it filed away on my hard drive, and it is possibly the FR post that I most reference.

Since you first posted it, I have sent it, and excerpts, to countless friends over the past year and a half, alluded to parts of it in a short Independence Day speech that I gave at a community picnic last month (with appropriate credit given :), and I refer to its intent in countless conversations. So rest assured, the message behind your 'We only have the rights we defend ...' has found a home, and taken at least partial root, in some south central Pennsylvania minds :) -- not exclusively, but especially, this statement: No system of government, will preserve for us what is our own responsibility to defend. And for all the fury which might release upon catastrophic failures by our government officials to uphold the lawful laws, no recovery is possible without the people being well-informed of what is our responsibility and trust ... and duty to restore.

~ joanie

28 posted on 08/07/2003 5:01:04 PM PDT by joanie-f (All that we know and love depends on sunlight, soil, and the fact that it rains.)
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To: joanie-f
btt
29 posted on 08/07/2003 5:15:18 PM PDT by tracer (/b>)
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To: joanie-f
"Tyranny realized through violence is a tragedy."

A tragedy in which the opposition to such still has honor.

"Tyranny realized through ignorance and apathy is an abomination."

An Abomination to which all are responsible.

Hi, Lady.
Glad to see you here.


30 posted on 08/07/2003 5:28:51 PM PDT by tet68
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To: joanie-f
Thanks.
31 posted on 08/08/2003 4:18:09 PM PDT by First_Salute
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To: Chad Fairbanks
Bump.
32 posted on 09/22/2003 11:54:34 AM PDT by First_Salute
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To: First_Salute
Thanks for the ping!
33 posted on 09/22/2003 11:55:06 AM PDT by Chad Fairbanks ("People never grow up, they just learn how to act in public." - Bryan White)
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To: Libertina

Ping!

To win in the court of public opinion, we must be in court.

To accomplish more widespread knowledge, it is obvious that we must get the word out ---

Please look around for at least one, worthy "conservative print media" publication., and then offer a gift subscription to your local library --- so there is at least some balance against the ubiquitous Washington Post, and other, so-called "mainstream" publications of the "liberal media." This Free Republic forum is a national, natural distribution-resource channel. And we may as well use its advantages while we have them.

As SuziQ has said, "I might also suggest that you offer a subscription to a local high school. Get those 'young skulls full of mush' started seeing this info and make it difficult for them to be indoctrinated by either the high school or the college they eventually attend."

Many people don't even know that any kind of fact-filled "conservative print media" exist. When in the Washington, D.C. area, and you run across a copy of The Washington Times, or The American Enterprise, or Insight on the News Magazine, or Human Events ... please grab copies and place them alongside the stacks of the New York Times or Washington Post --- somewhere else around our country, far away from the 'DC Beltway'.

Call The Washington Times and ask that they deliver stacks of newspapers to truck stops around the 'DC Beltway,' where they may find (Freepers can help at this) various truck drivers who would be interested in taking a stack with them ... and then dropping that stack off at another truck stop, again, away from the 'DC Beltway" ... in order that other people across the nation, get an opportunity to see the facts ignored by the W'Post, etc.

Airports are a great place; also at truck stops, at newsstands, at cafes, and at bookstores. And please note, that I'm not asking for your money. Instead, I am asking that you help get "conservative print media" to a level of customary reading in our American culture. I'm suggesting a way to fund Liberty, instead of funding timid politicians.

The formula is that we be educated in our Liberties and Foundations thereof --- which was the reason, by the way, for the Founding Fathers' and Framers' great interest in "public education." That we should know how and why we are free.

34 posted on 09/22/2003 12:03:42 PM PDT by Chad Fairbanks ("People never grow up, they just learn how to act in public." - Bryan White)
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To: Chad Fairbanks; First_Salute
To win in the court of public opinion, we must be in court.
Great article FS, and I agree with you Chad - we definitely must be in the game. The gift subscription suggestion is a great idea.
35 posted on 09/24/2003 7:41:19 PM PDT by Libertina
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To: tahiti
Bump.
36 posted on 11/10/2003 10:55:54 AM PST by First_Salute (God save our democratic-republican government, from a government by judiciary.)
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To: hardhead
Bump.
37 posted on 03/16/2004 12:49:57 PM PST by First_Salute (May God save our democratic-republican government, from a government by judiciary.)
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To: verb; America Gives; snopercod

Bump.


38 posted on 01/23/2005 10:42:14 AM PST by First_Salute (May God save our democratic-republican government, from a government by judiciary.)
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To: joanie-f

Bump.


39 posted on 03/31/2005 5:24:30 PM PST by First_Salute (May God save our democratic-republican government, from a government by judiciary.)
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To: snopercod

Bump.


40 posted on 03/31/2005 5:25:01 PM PST by First_Salute (May God save our democratic-republican government, from a government by judiciary.)
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To: First_Salute
Allow me a personal aside (focused more on the abuse of human privileges than on the defense of human rights) on a thread whose top-notch essay I’ve already read and appreciated countless times (many thanks for providing that opportunity. :)

This afternoon I took a break from work, house-designing, and teaching tasks and walked up a nearby mountain with our and our daughter’s dogs. I was in one of those need to clear my mind and immerse myself in nature moods.

The path we took is a portion of the Horseshoe Trail, a branch of the Appalachian Trial, which meanders through several hundred (maybe even several thousand) acres of woodland that abuts the house where my Dad used to live, and our daughter now lives. When he was still living (pre-October, 2001), my Dad and I used to walk up that mountain, along with my dog, Beatty, once, and occasionally twice, a week. Upon reaching a clearing at the summit, he would sit on a large, old tree stump and I would sit across the path on a downed oak tree. While Beatty explored the area, my Dad and I would relax there as he regained sufficient strength to start back down the mountain and return to his cottage. We ‘solved’ many a world problem during our long talks in that mountaintop clearing. :)

In the three and a half years since his death, I have only been up there twice – once to spread his ashes alongside his ‘sitting stump,’ as he wanted me to do, and then again maybe a year ago. Today I somehow felt the need to make the trek again (Maybe to experience a nearness to him. Maybe to experience a nearness to Him. Maybe just to enjoy a different kind of exercise, and exorcise some of the anger I have accumulated over the past couple of weeks of following Terri Schiavo’s plight. I’m not really sure.)

The narrow pathway up the mountain measures maybe two miles, and the area has always been thickly forested on either side of the path, as far as the eye can see. Mostly stately black oak, black locust, bitternut hickory, black walnut, sugar maple, and flowering dogwood – many of them (with the exception of the dogwoods) seventy or eighty feet tall. Those several hundred acres are a breathtaking example of nature’s magnificence and God’s awesome artistry.

But sometimes man has other ideas.

Walking that once-beautiful portion of the Horseshoe Trail is now akin to traversing a grotesque obstacle course. I would estimate that a good two-thirds of the trees along the two-mile path, and much deeper into the forest, have been felled. Maybe half of those have been removed completely, but the other half lie there like giant conquered Goliaths. The entire expanse is littered with hundreds of irregular, five to ten-foot high piles of branches and brush and one to two-foot-high stumps that once served as the foundation for the magnificent wooden sentries. The felled trees were not even taken at ground level, but cut several feet higher, leaving huge stumps as the only evidence that they ever existed at all.

And, judging by the appearance, color and texture of the cut stumps, all of this devastation took place many, many months ago.

I know that trees were meant to be harvested, but not in this way. It will be decades before that once breathtakingly beautiful area begins to reclaim its natural splendor.

At one particular spot the Horseshoe Trail now ceases to exist, and is completely obliterated by an enormous expanse of limbs and trunks of downed trees and tangled underbrush. I attempted to circumvent that extremely large area and re-discover where the Trail continues higher up the mountain, but, after spending close to an hour attempting to find it again, I had to abandon the effort because it was nearing time to go home.

So Ernie, Beatty and I never did make it to the summit (although I intend to attempt to do so again soon, when I will have more time to make my way through the thick barriers).

On our way back down to the base of the mountain, Beatty wandered off the path quite a distance and appeared to have ‘discovered’ something (she is eighteen years old, but still has the acute sense of smell of a dog half her age), so Ernie and I hiked over to see what had attracted her attention.

What Beatty had stumbled upon was an old deer carcass. The body was complete – the skull, limbs, and every rib and vertibra were there, and it was also apparent that none of the meat had been taken, but instead had been mostly eaten by scavengers. The antlers had been sawed off at the top of the skull. The deer had apparently been killed simply for the purpose of mounting its rack.

I couldn’t kill a deer, unless doing so were the only means of avoiding starvation. But I would not criticize anyone who does kill wildlife in order to make use of the meat and hide.

I would have difficulty cutting down a hundred year old oak tree. But I would not criticize anyone who did so, provided they left the area clean, and in a condition that would promote re-growth so that that part of the forest would have a fighting chance of reclaiming its former majesty.

The hunter had left the deer dead, but intact, minus its antlers. And the people who downed hundreds, if not thousands, of magnificent trees had no concern at all with the way they left the environment after they harvested what they wanted. Both were examples of a senseless, destructive, and self-absorbed hit-and-run philosophy.

Sometimes that different drummer seems intent on creating a cadence that brutally clashes with the beat that so many others are tapping out in precise conformity.

Anyway … the two dogs got a workout, thoroughly enjoyed themselves, and ol’ Beatty has napped peacefully all late afternoon and on into the night (canine drummers must be significantly less discriminating).

~ joanie

41 posted on 04/01/2005 8:21:50 PM PST by joanie-f (If pro is opposite of con, then what is the opposite of progress?)
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To: joanie-f
Joanie, this is what you have that I don't. You can take everyday happenings and understand the meaning behind them and then connect them to things in the real world. (I didn't even explain that as well as you would.) :-)

Thank you.

42 posted on 04/02/2005 6:45:48 AM PST by Minuteman23
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